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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A-Camping (NOT Hunting) Elmer Will Go


Bugs Torments Fudd For No Good Reason in Wabbit Twouble (1941)

I can never remember how you spell Elmer Fudd. Is it Pfudd, Phudd, or the correct Fudd? (had to confirm yet again today) Here is Elmer, portlier than customary and therefore less mobile, being victimized by Bugs Bunny where the man is merely trying to enjoy his camp-out in peace (no gun with Fudd this time, which makes Bugs' aggression the more off-putting). So Elmer isn't there to hunt the rabbit, putting our sympathy square with him as obnoxious wildlife, none more so than BB, does their uncalled-for stuff. Bob Clampett had anything-goes attitude regarding Bugs, not like Chuck Jones later on who insisted the rabbit be provoked into mischief. I don't come to the debate fairly for lifelong antipathy toward Bugs, him way down my list of likes behind Porky, Road Runner, Sylvester, Hubie/Bertie, and all time favorite, Daffy Duck. Bugs had confidence we needed to win a war (Wabbit Twouble released right after Pearl Harbor), but I always found him smug. Once, at age four, I asked my mother for a raw carrot so as to emulate the Bunny's eating habit, and yecch, he could have it. From that dire beginning, Bugs and I could find no common ground.

5 Comments:

Blogger Kevin K. said...

I take it, then, you're no fan of Tex Avery's Screw Squirrel at Metro. That guy makes the early Bugs Bunny look like Mary Pickford.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

That fat Elmer was designed to look like the man who did his voice, Arthur Q. Bryan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMPtM-VsBJk

6:09 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Donald Benson cites some occasions where Bugs ate humble pie:


There are three cartoons -- each by a different director -- where Bugs Bunny is defeated by Cecil Turtle:
"Tortoise Beats Hare"
"Rabbit Transit"
"Tortoise Wins by a Hare"
The fun is seeing Bugs reduced to sputtering fury by the small, laid-back turtle ("Uhhhh . . . Yup.").


The same principle is applied -- less successfully -- in "Rabbit Rampage", a mild "Duck Amuck" clone that pits Bugs against an unseen artist. Bugs doesn't even put up a fight -- he just registers annoyance.


I never minded the nihilist Bugs, or any of the other mindlessly vicious character (even early Woody Woodpecker), so long as they were clever in their destruction.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Michael J. Hayde said...

Another cartoon that makes Bugs the butt of the joke is McKimson's WHAT'S UP DOC? (1950). Although it has elements that make it a fan favorite ("Oh, we're the boys of the chorus..."), I've always found its whole to be far less than the sum of its parts, mainly because Bugs-as-patsy doesn't much work. Incidentally, Clampett's next Bugs, THE WACKY WABBIT, also had him harrassing fat Elmer for no good reason. Writer Mike Maltese later claimed it died in theaters because the rabbit needed to be "put-upon" by an adversary in order to be lovable.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

I have shown both those films to paying audiences in packed theaters so often I have lost count. They bring the house down. Despite what Maltese said I will wager they brought the house down when originally shown. They are real crowd pleasers.

3:36 PM  

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